Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hailed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performance against Atletico Madrid and explained how the midfielder has two crucial sides to his game.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed a regular role for the Reds of late, featuring in all of the last seven games. However, such a run of games comes in contrast to most of his Anfield career.
Indeed, he has suffered injuries and they have proved serious ones, keeping him out for lengthy periods.
Now, though, the tables have turned. Oxlade-Chamberlain has stayed fit while a host of other Liverpool midfielders face spells on the sidelines.
He has therefore had a prominent role and, in an interview with the Daily Mirror, he outlined how consistent runs of games help bring out his best attributes.
Speaking in response to those comments, Klopp heaped praise on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performance as he started Wednesday’s Champions League win over Atletico.
“Massive, I thought it was a really good game,” the manager said. “Very mature, he had his ‘Oxlade-Chamberlain’ moments, running with the ball, all that kind of stuff.
“But we need ‘Mr Oxlade-Chamberlain’ as well, the mature one, the calm one, the closing one. It was a really good game.
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“We had a proper talk before that game about what we expect and he fulfilled the role. I was really happy for him and that’s how you get rhythm, if you play like this.
“It will not be too long until you play again [when you have rhythm], so that’s how it is.”
Asked if he prefers either side of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s game, Klopp said: “Oxlade has that [both sides to his game], but the problem is when you don’t play for a long time and you think you have to convince people.
“I was really happy for him, a relaxed performance but extremely helpful for the team.”
Klopp talks Liverpool, West Ham clash
Given Oxlade-Chamberlain’s recent run and injuries to Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and James Milner, the Englishman could start Sunday’s Premier League clash away to West Ham.
Klopp said that he is expecting a tough contest against the Hammers, who sit fourth in the table after 10 games and are unbeaten in six matches, a run featuring five wins in a row.
“It will be a really good game I’m pretty sure,” Klopp said. “We are in a good moment, they are in a good moment, that’s how a football game should be before the game.
“I’m really excited to play it. It will be a tough one, but thank God for them as well.”
Liverpool won 3-1 at the London Stadium last season, while Oxlade-Chamberlain scored there in a 2-0 Reds win in 2019/20.